How Much Should A Job Cost?

 By Greg Hunter’s  

Since the State of the Union Address, the White House has turned its attention to jobs. President Obama said last week, “…jobs must be our focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill.”  A $100 billion jobs bill has already passed the House of Representatives.  The Obama Administration is now pressing the Senate to get a bill on his desk in short order.  It will likely end up being a combination of spending and some tax incentives. 

After the $787 billion stimulus that was appropriated last year by Congress, $100 billion seems paltry.  My question is how much will it cost to save or create jobs?   In the State of the Union Address, the President said, “Because of the steps we took, there are about 2 million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed.”  So, taxpayers spent $787 billion to create or save 2 million jobs; that works out to be to be about $393,000 per job so far. 

Back in October, the Associated Press claimed, “The government has overstated by thousands the number of jobs it has created or saved with federal contracts under the president’s $787 billion recovery program…”  The AP report also said, “The review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs…”  (Click here for more on the AP report)  But, let’s just take the President at his word and say 2 million jobs were saved or created.

The President also contends that, “We’re on track to add another million and a half jobs to this total by the end of the year.”  That gives you a grand total of 3.5 million jobs saved or created by the $787 billion stimulus plan.  That works out to be nearly $225,000 spent to create or save each and every job!   

On what planet is this a good deal for taxpayers?  There is no way there is not huge fraud, waste, and abuse in a number like that.  I said this before in a post called “Is The American Empire Being Looted?”  Wasteful spending is just another way to rob America.   

Now, we are continuing the boondoggle with a new jobs program that is being pushed through the Senate.  Maybe we can get the cost per job down a little before the country goes bankrupt!

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  1. Mark Mudgett

    Hello Greg,

    I am listening to you on KSFO with Susman now.

    You stated that you used simple math in this article. Simple math could also include the deduction of displaced jobs from “jobs created or saved” by the “taking” of 787B of capital from the market place. This money is not available for investment capital in the private sector.

    I know this idea will NEVER float; however, we should abolish the departments of Education and Energy. These federal agencies have not educated one child, split one atom, or produced one gallon of hydrocarbon fuel.

    We need an economic shake-out for government. Our unemployment rate will go up initially, to be followed by a true economic recovery.


    • Greg

      Good points.

  2. Mark Mudgett

    Your appearance on KSFO comment #2:

    You remarked on Sussman’s show that you used simple deductive reasoning skills to create your stories. Dr. Sowell refers to different stages of thinking–as in Stage One Thinking, Stage Two, and on.

    It is amazing how much information can be gleaned by asking Who, What, Why, When, or Where to any statement made by somebody.

    In a top-of-the-hour network news segment on radio, the journalist loudly proclaimed that Obama had cut the budget for 2011 and that many programs would be cut or decreased in the proposed budget. The so-called journalist did not think beyond Stage One as she did not ask “how much” and “What will the deficit be for 2011”?

    Answer: 15 to 20 billion in cuts and an increase in the deficit from 1.43 trillion (FY 2010) to 1.6 trillion (FY 2011). Where’s the beef? The story, in effect, was an Obama puff piece.


  3. George

    Is no one paying attention to the government’s use of diversion and psychology? They re-title bills in Congress to hide the purpose; violate the US Constitution and as you put in one article, they are LOOTING the treasury. The current administration had most arguing about healthcare while the economy was heading down like a meteor. NOW, Obama is going to focus on jobs?
    The progressives, both Dems and Repubs, want another stimulus bill but now they are going to re-title it a “jobs” bill. Are Americans’ stupid enough to fall for that one? The only thing the last one stimulated was government and the “friends” of the administration. You can not spend your way out of bankruptcy and higher taxes will crush the economy.
    We even have “Budget cut” in the mainstream media when we are having record budgets and deficits. Truth is, you can not believe the mainstream media as they take the government numbers as gospel; even when the numbers are clearly wrong. I was shocked the other day by the mainstream media following a story on a DOG rescue for hours. Damn! All of the serious issues in the world, all of the news out there; and we have hours of dog coverage. I love my dog; how would his circumstances ever warrant hours of coverage? OK, maybe if he stopped a terrorist attack or saved a bus load of nuns, it would be appropriate but that’s about it.
    When I was learning to fly, the flight instructor pointed to a line on the runway and said, “That’s the Point of No Return”; meaning that once I passed that mark during take off, I was committed. Nothing short of take off or an act of God after passing the “Point of No Return” would keep me out of trees (read this as crash and burn). I am afraid that the weight of Bush and Obama’s reckless spending has passed the “Point of No Return”. We will continue to roll down the runway until our abrupt, catastrophic halt when we hit the proverbial economic “trees”.

    • Greg

      You are always insightful.

  4. Brad Thrasher

    Alexis deToqueville noted in 1842, “The great American experiment in democracy will work so long until the people find out they can raid the Treasury.”

    Everybody wants government so long as somebody else is paying for it. Back in the 1950’s government built our highway system and the People whined about the gas tax and have been whining about the gas tax ever since.

    More recently, our government released something called then, the super highway, that was developed with tax payer money by the Defense Department. And everybody whines about taxing the internet.

    If either of our asphalt highway system or teh electronic super highway had been built with private funds, we’d all pay a toll or royalty to use these services.

    Not when its government money though. The common self-aggrandizing refrain from the masses is, “I already paid for the snail-highway and the super-highway with my taxes.”

    Government is corrupt alright. Corrupted by an irresponsible people demanding a free ride.

    If anybody really wants to know what’s wrong in America, don’t look at government, or liberals or conservatives. Look in the mirror.

  5. Denny

    If we truly want to produce jobs we will have to encourage a growth of the manufacturing base, that means a more protectionist position with imports and a break up of the massive union control over the northern states. White collar jobs can only take us so far, and a large percent of our youth are poorly educated. The Government could be key to a recovery but not in the role or direction its headed in.

    • Greg

      Thank you for the comment.

    • Brad Thrasher

      Yeah that makes sense. Finish off the unions and rebuild a consumption based economy on people earning non-livable wages.

      • Mark Mudgett

        Brad and Dennis,

        We have the largest industrial economy in the world. Our “place” in the world economy is in producing products that require “white collars.” We are too sophisticated and advanced to be building products in old-style, dirty, and inefficient manufacturing plants. For us to survive as an economy, we must further shift to production that requires clean rooms, clean clothes, educations, and latex gloves.

        We have to be on the cutting edge of automated manufacturing where workers produce products in clean environments while having the highest productiviy rates in the world. It is our lot in life!

        Protectionism always harms an economy. Working smart and always increasing productivity is the key to our survival, both economically and militarily.


        • Brad Thrasher

          And your point markm, has exactly what to do with the collective bargaining process? What a shame you missed a recent family dinner table conversation among two engineers, an MBA responsible for worldwide pricing, two teachers and myself.

          The engineers lamented that their “society” was nothing more than a shill for management.

          That degree, white coat and latex gloves doesn’t assure you a livable wage. It only means they haven’t gotten to including you in the race to the bottom.

          Not to worry. You’re next. A few ten thousand more Asians coming in on HB1 visas willing to compete for a job on price is all that’s standing between you and the unemployment line.

          Every study of wages over the past 40 years shows that women and minorities are paid less than their white male counterparts. I guess low esteem encourages people to compete on price rather than merit and ability.

          Even Cesar Chavez was against allowing undocumented workers into the country because they undercut his ability to negotiate better wages, better benefits and better conditions for his collective bargaining units.

          • Mark Mudgett

            Hey Brad,

            Unions are a necessary evil. I have deep experience with unions so I know the downside and upside of unions. As a recent returnee to college, I studied good unionization and poor unionization.

            HB1 Visas are terrible. I have never understood the argument for importing higher level skills because we don’t have it here. We don’t have CHEAP, slave wage, engineers here (although, wages for engineers is too low without HB1 Visas).

            I was illegal aliened out of good wages and jobs years ago. Both parties are guilty of treason on the illegal alien issue. The demicans want voters and the republicrats want to fill a labor void. What republicrats don’t realize is that they are displacing market wages for quasi-slave wages.

            Higher wages and unionists like Ceaser Chavez force industry to automate and to produce products more efficiently, while using fewer resource; unless illegal immigration is allowed.

            Even though you are not a “right winger” we agree on many things.


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